Sunday, April 20, 2014
Text Size

Landmark $120M First Nations deal a go

By Randy Richmond ,The London Free Press

LONDON, Ont. -- The federal government is set to sign a $120-million land claim settlement Monday that will launch an ambitious and novel effort - an urban reserve in London - to boost southwestern Ontario's economy.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt is to join Chief Joe Miskokomon at the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation community centre Monday to celebrate the settlement.

With the federal approval in hand, the Chippewas can begin in earnest negotiations with the city of London and other partners to create a commercial/industrial zone along Hwy. 401.

"The city of London needs economic stimulus and I think we could be a participant in that," Miskokomon said.

The urban reserve would allow companies to get in on tax advantages and federal programs provided to First Nations, and provide jobs and investment for London.

In exchange, the Chippewas would get services and other support from the city.

"We've had several conversations with the mayor (Joe Fontana) about partnering and he's very enthusiastic about that," Miskokomon said. "He wants the same things that we want. People want jobs, good jobs."

The band voted 1,200 to 101 in March in favour of the settlement and has been anxious to get moving on economic development, Miskokomon said.

In return for surrendering a claim on 5,120 acres near Big Bear Creek, the Chippewas gained not only the money but the right to buy 2,017 hectares of land in four communities, anywhere they want, from Windsor, Ont., to Woodstock, Ont.

Of the settlement money, the band is putting $60 million toward monthly income support for its elderly members, $10 million for post-secondary bursaries, $20 million to be divided among adult members, and $30 million for community and economic development.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (7 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (2 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


April 2014
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
Mon Mar 31 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
NICE ‘Indian’ Trust Funds
Fri Apr 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM

John Bigface


Current Video

Indigenous Writers Festival 2014 Opening Night

Write comment (0 Comments)

Chief Arlen Dumas Confronts NC Shawn Atleo

Write comment (2 Comments)